Janine Gibson

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Gibson moderating a discussion panel in 2007.

Janine Victoria Gibson (born 17 June 1972)[1] is a British journalist who is editor-in-chief of the Buzzfeed UK website.[2] In the summer of 2014 she became deputy editor of Guardian News and Media and editor-in-chief of theguardian.com website in London. She is a former editor-in-chief in New York City of Guardian US, the offshoot of The Guardian, the British newspaper and online publication.

Early life and career[edit]

The daughter of British parents, Gibson was born in Germany. Her father, the industrialist Sir Ian Gibson,[3] was then an employee of the motor car manufacturer Ford of Europe, and her mother a teacher. Her father's work for Ford meant that the family moved every few years, settling in several countries before returning to Germany. Gibson herself was eventually sent to boarding school in England,[4] and then Walthamstow Hall, an independent day school for girls in Sevenoaks, Kent. Gibson read English Literature[5] at St John's College, Oxford.[4]

After her graduation, Gibson began her career in the media trade press, becoming deputy editor of Televisiual (1995–97) and subsequently international editor of Broadcast magazine during 1987–98.[1] She then briefly joined The Independent newspaper as a media correspondent for a few months before taking up a similar post later in 1998 at The Guardian.[6]

At The Guardian[edit]

At The Guardian, she was responsible for launching the Guardian's media website[7] and became Media Guardian editor. In May 2003, it was announced that she in addition had been appointed editor of the Media, Society, Education and Technology G3 supplements, a newly created post.[8]

Her appointment as editor of the guardian.co.uk website was announced in November 2008.[9] Her immediate superiors at this time were Emily Bell, then director of digital content, and Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.[9] After Bell took up an academic post in New York in April 2010, Gibson's responsibilities were expanded to include supervising all of Guardian News & Media's digital output.[10]

Guardian's American website[edit]

After several months of discussion with Alan Rusbridger in early 2011, Gibson was formally appointed the editor of the Guardian's new American online operations, to be based in New York, in April. The newspaper's new US website was launched in September;[4] an earlier attempt by the newspaper to relate to an American online audience, headed by Michael Tomasky in Washington DC between 2007 and 2009, had proved unsuccessful.[11]

Glenn Greenwald brought some of the leaked material from Edward Snowden to Gibson's attention, and she liaised with London to bring further investigative staff over to New York, including forming the team who met Snowden in Hong Kong to analyse the material he had accumulated.[12]

Gibson continued to be Greenwald's supervising editor during the time he was associated with The Guardian and preparing Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance and other stories for publication.[13] She is reported to have told Alan Rusbridger when informing him of the scoops Greenwald, their newspaper's columnist, had uncovered: "I’ve got a little story to chat to you about".[14]

After returning to London, Gibson became chief of theguardian.com website during Summer 2014 becoming in addition a deputy editor of Guardian News & Media.[15] Her place as head of The Guardian's American operations was taken by Katharine Viner.[16]

Gibson was offered a managing editor of digital media position with The New York Times in early May 2014, but turned it down. According to one report in The New Yorker, internal politics related to her potential hiring led to the dismissal of that paper's executive editor, Jill Abramson a few weeks later.[17] Gibson was perceived to be the most likely successor to Alan Rusbridger, who resigned as editor-in-chief in December 2014, but Katharine Viner was ultimately appointed in March 2015.[18][19]

In May 2015, Gibson left The Guardian.[20] In September, prior to an expansion of its activities, she began a new job as editor-in-chief of the BuzzFeed UK website.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Ms Janine Gibson Authorised Biography", Debrett's
  2. ^ a b Jane Martinson "Janine Gibson appointed editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed UK", The Guardian, 16 June 2015
  3. ^ "Business profile: Gibson in the Mirror", Sunday Telegraph, 30 April 2006
  4. ^ a b c Joe Pompeo "Editor Janine Gibsnon Banks on The Guardian's Distinctly British Appeal to the Internationalist' Yank", Capital New York, 13 October 2011
  5. ^ "Alumnae Profiles: Janine Gibson", Walthamstow Hall Senior School
  6. ^ "Executive Profile: Janine Gibson", Bloomberg Businessweek
  7. ^ "Janine Gibson Profile", theguardian.com [19 December 2000]
  8. ^ Joe Lepper "Guardian makes a number of senior editorial changes", PR Week, 2 May 2003
  9. ^ a b "Janine Gibson is made editor of Guardian.co.uk", Press Gazette, 6 November 2008
  10. ^ Jason Deans "Emily Bell to leave Guardian News & Media for university post", theguardian.com, 21 April 2010
  11. ^ Emily Witt "The Guardian in America Is Going to Be British This Time", New York Observer, 27 June 2011
  12. ^ Nicky Woolf "How The Guardian Broke the Snowden Story", The Atlantic, 5 July 2013
  13. ^ Ken Auletta "Annals of Communication: Freedom of Information", New Yorker, 7 October 2013
  14. ^ Christine Haughney and Noam Cohen "Guardian Makes Waves, and Is Ready for More", New York Times, 10 June 2013
  15. ^ "Guardian News & Media announces senior editorial changes", theguardian.com (press release), 6 March 2014
  16. ^ Ravi Somaiya "Guardian to Make Management Changes", New York Times, 6 March 2014
  17. ^ Ken Auletta (2014-05-14). "Jill Abramson and the Times: What Went Wrong?". The New Yorker. 
  18. ^ Harry Lambert "Who will replace Alan Rusbridger at the Guardian?", New Statesman, 10 December 2014
  19. ^ Henry Mance "Katharine Viner appointed Guardian editor", Financial Times, 20 March 2015
  20. ^ Alex Spence "Snowden editor to leave The Guardian", Politico, 22 May 2015